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Impartial Analysis of Measure H

Dana McRae, County Counsel, County of Santa Cruz

This measure seeks voter approval to authorize the County of Santa Cruz (“County”) to issue and sell up to $140,000,000 in general obligation bonds, in one or more series, at an interest rate not to exceed twelve percent per annum.  The purpose of the bonds is to raise funds for the acquisition or improvement of real property in order to provide affordable housing for populations that face challenges securing stable housing.  People eligible for this housing include veterans, seniors, persons with disabilities, persons experiencing homelessness, persons with mental health illnesses or substance use disorders and persons with low and very low incomes.  A portion of the proceeds will also be available for low and middle-income persons to purchase homes.  The proceeds from the sale of the bonds may only be spent as described in the full text of Measure H which is printed in this pamphlet and not for any other purpose.

Measure H, if approved, would authorize an increase in the property tax rate in order to pay debt service on the bonds.  The property tax increase would be based on assessed value, not market value.  The best estimate of the average annual tax rate that would be required to fund the bond issue over the duration of the debt service is $12.21 per $100,000 of assessed value.  The best estimate of the highest annual tax rate that would be required to fund the bond issue over the duration of the debt service is $16.77 per $100,000 of assessed value.  The Tax Rate Statement printed in this pamphlet describes the tax rate in more detail.   

In accordance with State law, the County would carry out accountability measures.  If the measure is approved, the proceeds of the bonds must be deposited in a special account created by the County.  The County must ensure that an annual report is prepared describing the amount of funds collected and expended, and the status of any project required or authorized to be funded by the bond proceeds.  An Oversight Committee including citizen representatives will review the annual report each year to ensure fiscal accountability.  An independent, external auditor will review the County’s spending of bond proceeds to further ensure fiscal accountability.

Pursuant to California law, this measure will become effective upon the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the qualified voters voting on this measure.  Approval of this measure will also constitute approval of the provision of up to 1,041 units of affordable housing as required by Article XXXIV of the California Constitution.   

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz.  

A “yes” vote on Measure H is a vote to authorize the issuance and sale of up to $140,000,000 in general obligation bonds in order to provide affordable housing, to be secured by property taxes on property located within the County.

A “no” vote on Measure H is a vote to not authorize the issuance and sale of general obligation bonds.